THE TEN AT 10:
1. It looks like Georgia is getting close to wrapping up its investigation into the eligibility issues facing football player Jarvis Jones and basketball player Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Athletic Director Greg McGarity told reporters covering the Metro Atlanta Bulldog Club on Monday that UGA’s internal inquiry could be completed “before the end of this week.”
That’s the good news. The bad news is the Bulldogs will still have to wait for the NCAA to make a ruling. That tends to take a while. Georgia must first turn over its findings to the SEC office, which then forwards it to the NCAA, which will get back to UGA with a ruling after it has thoroughly reviewed the case.
Nevertheless, the Bulldogs remain hopeful the situation will get resolved before the season opener against Boise State on Sept. 3. Last year’s eligibility issues facing wide receiver A.J. Green did not get resolved until the second week of the season.
There is some hope that Jones can maintain his eligibility. According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Tony Adams, the man who paid for two round-trip flights to Los Angeles for Jones and his legal .guardian, Shelley Stephens, had been in a relationship with Stephens for some time. So there may have been a preexisting relationship that made paying for the trip permissible.
2. There has been all kinds of gossip this summer regarding Isaiah Crowell and how he might have be faring during Georgia’s off-season workouts. But nobody can be sure what’s truth or fiction since only players and strength coaches are privy to what goes on. The players, it seems, are very protective of the ballyhooed freshman tailback.
Probably the most enlightening comments on the subject came from quarterback Aaron Murray this past week at SEC Football Media Days. Murray’s remarks lead one to believe that work ethic may have been an issue early on, but that Crowell’s teammates made sure it didn’t persist.
Said Murray: “Oh yeah, we sat him down. One of the first weeks he was here, me, Ben [Jones] and Christian [Robinson] and a couple of other guys went to his dorm, took him outside, talked to him and ran him through some plays. Then we told him, ‘Hey, we’re here for you. We’re going to push you on this and on that but, in the end, we’re going to make sure you’re ready to go.’ He definitely took that well and has been working hard.”
Asked why they may have felt compelled to address Crowell in such a way, Murray said, “We wanted to make sure he knew we’re here for him and anything he wanted, we’re a call away. We’re excited about getting him out there and getting him to learn the playbook.”
Virtually every other report that has come out about Crowell has been glowing. His teammates have raved about the athletic potential Crowell has displayed in 7-on-7 work, pass skel and conditioning workouts.
“Oh, yeah, it’s a lot of talent,” Murray said. “Isaiah has all the speed and quickness in the world.”
Said Jones: “Very quick, very explosive. He can break it and he’s got power, too. I can’t wait to see how he is in pads because I heard he’s ‘The Man.’ I hope he is because there’s going to be some big-play opportunities.”
3. Speaking of summer workouts, the grueling regimen the players have been exposed to under new strength and conditioning coordinator Joe Tereshinski is already the stuff of legend. The Bulldogs have run more than they have in years as Tereshinski’s philosophy is to train to “win the fourth quarter” by being the better conditioned team. This has meant miles and miles of timed running at the crack of dawn and in the heat of the afternoons.
But it appears the players have gotten used to the routine and actually have started to enjoy it.
“It’s amazing how people’s bodies have transformed and how people are getting into shape,” senior cornerback Brandon Boykin said. “Everyday we’re running around the track, doing speed drills, running hills, tires, sleds, everything you can think of. We’re doing it all.”
The highlight of the week is when the players run from Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall down Lumpkin Street to Sanford Stadium and back to the football complex via East Campus Road.
“We do a morning run, usually on Fridays, where we run to the stadium, run through the stadium and then run back,” Boykin said. “It’s pretty nice to run with your team throughout campus. You’ve got your shirt off and girls are looking at you. Everybody wants to be seen and see the hard work they’ve put in. That’s actually something we look forward to on Friday.”
4. Coach Mark Richt has resurrected two-a-days for preseason camp this year. The Bulldogs scrapped them last year but will practice twice on Tuesday, Aug. 9, and again on Saturday, Aug. 13. Richt, following the trend of many teams in college football, scrapped them last year. Richt also said Georgia will hold several full-contact practices.
5. Richt told reporters before Monday’s Bulldog Club gathering that freshman eligibility issues for signees Devin Bowman and Kent Turene are still “up in the air.”
6. Three quotes from Richt at SEC Media Days last week told me there he is definitely re-invigorated for the coming season:
7. Recently-graduated UGA All-American Harris English won the Nationwide Tour’s Children’s Hospital Invitational golf tournament on Sunday at the Ohio State Golf Club’s Scarlet Course. English became the third Bulldog to win a Nationwide event this year — joining Russell Henley and Erik Compton — and just the third amateur ever to win on American golf’s No. 2 tour.
English finished at 14-under-par 270. Since English has maintained his amateur status, the $144,000 first-place prize went to the second-place finisher. Earlier this month, English won the Southern Amateur in Palm Harbor, Fla. He also recently was chosen as a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar for the second straight year by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
8. This one slipped by me this summer: Ray Lamb, the longtime director of high school relations for Georgia and legendary high school coach, retired last month. I first met Coach Lamb back when he fashioned tiny little Commerce High into a perennial football powerhouse. But I really got to know him on the sidelines of UGA’s Woodruff Practice Fields as he’d share stories about football and life as the Bulldogs’ practices were raged on. Lamb’s sons Hal (Calhoun High) and Bobby (Mercer University) followed him into coaching and now he has grandsons that are playing high school ball. So it seems Ray will still be involved in the game fulltime. UGA’s Loran Smith wrote a nice column about Lamb on georgiadogs.com.
9. Richt is asking for prayers for the 4-year-old daughter of linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti. Kasyn Olivadotti has Leukemia and has been in the hospital for more than a month.
10. THIS & THAT: Here’s a news release from Daktronics Inc. about the new LED scoreboard installed at Sanford Stadium.Morgan Leleux, a pole vaulter from New Iberia, La., who signed with Georgia earlier this year, took the gold medal at Pan American Junior Track & Field Championships in Miramar, Fla., this past weekend. Leleux cleared 13-7 1/4. Next she’ll compete in the USATF National Junior Outdoor Championships on Friday. She’ll enroll at UGA in the fall.